As I understand , you have domain expertise in travel industry and have a unique idea that you think will is needed in the market.
I also assume that you did some study and came to conclusion that website is what you need (Not mobile first .. re-think !!)
If you are a first time found I would strongly suggest you to understand the "Lean Start-Up" way (http://theleanstartup.com/) . I have developed products for big enterprises and for small businesses and and done my own couple startups in the past that ended up in the graveyard (No product market fit).
Step 1 - Put up a landing page and validate your idea (https://medium.com/@joelgascoigne/how-to-successfully-validate-your-idea-with-a-landing-page-mvp-ef3c2d02dc51) You probably can do this under $50
Step 2 - While your idea was getting validated, you would have collected some emails. Talk to them and figure out the appetite and try to pre-sell the product or service..
Step 3 - Create an MVP. Unless you have something totally unique and unconventional, most of the data driven web products can be created using a word-press or any similar frameworks.
Step 4 - Consult a technologist on how to go about it and get a landscape and roadmap developed. Ask for help to vett the right freelancer or part timer for this job
Step 5 - If the version 1 makes you any money..man !! you made it.. double down ..At this point you can think of rebuilding the backend etc with the better architecture.
These are no 5 magic steps .. I wrote it as I was thinking it loud. Feel free to contact ..
..and good luck !!
Purely from a web/application development standpoint, the answer is a little dependent on what direction(s) you are open to taking in terms of the go-forward vision. Most scenarios (side project, part time passion project or full-time head first deep diving) likely commence with the scoping and planning for the project itself. There are a number of feature and functional details you need to conclude so that you can start understanding how your website fits relative to the marketplace and importantly what sort of resources (time/money/people) you will need to get this off the ground. to that extent, I would start with going through a wireframing exercise which will have you outline the rough blocking and tackling for each of the major application screens (both front end and back end/admin). That, along with an outline of your DB and researching/analyzing whch third party tools you will need in addition to your site (CRM, payment processors, etc etc) should give you a document which you can use to shop around the idea to potential tech partners and even investors. Depending on your goal and the depth of the application, this could be a document anywhere from 30-90+ pages and is a critical first step towards building a successful implementation strategy and product roadmap. I'd be happy to connect and walk you through the scoping/documenting/planning processes further and offer any other insights or help I can from there. Just request a meeting and we can dive further into your upcoming project needs.
I have a friend who is doing this also. He is producing a e-magazine and has people blog for him on different areas of interest to give different content. He also writes certain articles on topics that are his specialty. I would love to speak with you about the different direction you want to go in. A magazine can also have sponsors.
When you say "I have a plan.." What does it mean? You have a business idea that you want to validate? I am working as an information architect and content strategist for a travel app, for last 3 weeks. Here are some steps:
- Think of your product as independent of the technology. Plan it for desktop and mobile, draw some sketches of user journey throughout the product, and be the first customer of your product.
- Talk to a few customers who may be interested to use it. Plan customer surveys (See http://sixteenventures.com/ for some great references).
Now you should be clear for what exactly you want, and what your customers need.
- Find a dev team for first prototype.
- Don't focus too much on logo or branding. Rather, focus on customer acquisition and engagement strategies, where 'content' is critical. Let users believe in the product value, and talk, discuss, gather feedback, follow up.
- Use metrics (MixPanel helps)
Remember that since you are particularly talking about 'travel' industry. many users may need to use it while traveling. So, a mobile version is a must. I am not saying a Mobile app (that may add to the cost to validate the idea). At least, plan a responsive desktop product, with adaptive content.
If you need more directions, setup a call and I will share my experience! Good luck!!
Hi there, I can relate to your question, because I was in similar shoes a couple of years ago. Here's what I'd say:
1) Start where you are. Take stock of what you know. Gather data (like you're doing now) on where you need to go and start moving forward one step at a time. Don't be overwhelmed that you don't have all the skills now (who does??!).
2) Some other folks who answered here gave some smart answers that I will echo. You want to make sure you're solving an unaddressed pain or solving a pain point much better than others. To do that, you can test the pain and you're initial solution by going out and talking to people. Find people by putting up a simple page to gauge interest, by connecting with friends, by using your network. Get out and listen.
3) Create an MVP. Test it. New version. Test it. New version. Listen to your customers; don't let them direct your development, but their insights should guide it. I've worked with a fantastic outsourced development firm for the past 20 months and can share more about the process I went through as a non-technical founder.
Some books I've found helpful are The Startup Owners Manual and Nail It, Then Scale It. Depending on where you live, I'd also suggest finding some fellow founders in your area just to start building that network too.
Can you get it up and running using something like Square Space? What does your plan entail? Are you going to raise money? If so, you will need to prove out demand. It would be good to set up experiments to learn more about your audience. Can you provide more info? I'm interested.